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Charles (Loss)

[2005-04-03-WWE Wrestlemania XXI] Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle

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Good but nothing more than that and definitely not an all time classic. The first 7-8 minutes were great and interesting but then it went kind of downhill. Kurt's back work was uninspired and Shawn's forgetting about it didn't help matters. The finishing stretch also wasn't anything special. Still overall not bad. Shawn looked good and I thought was carrying the load here. *** 1/4

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I am higher than you, but I agree with all your points that the front half was definitely more interesting than the back half

 

Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle - WrestleMania XXI

 

As with so many match from the 2000s, this is a tale of two match. I thought the first half showed 2000s Shawn at his best. He is tough, gritty and intense. He locking on headlocks with all his might. He is not backing down. He is crowding in the corner. He is throwing stiff chops. An excellent showcase of this Shawn is on a 2004 RAW against Benoit for World Title. I thought Angle was pretty good in early going too. I like the cheapshot from behind to set up first Angle lock, but Shawn quickly escapes and then Angleslam into the steel post.

 

Basically from there, the match becomes your pretty standard Shawn Michaels Mania match. The heat segment on back is uninspired and Shawn sells pretty well and bumps on his back, but then it gets lost. They do some highspots on the outside with the Asai crossbody on the announce table being the leveling the playing field spot. It was your standard finish stretch. Better than today's because it was not just my turn your turn there were at least momentum shifts. Shawn went through his stuff. But Angle catches the foot into the Anglelock. Way too much Anglelock bullshit. Couple good Angleslam nearfalls, I admit liked the one from the top rope. Then we get all Shawn Michaels' cinematographic greatness with Angle telling him to stay and BANG SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Should have been the finish. Instead after eternity, Shawn makes the cover kick out. Angle comes to and Anglelock that lasts forever. I was begging Shawn to tap.

 

It was the best of Shawn, it was the worst of Shawn. ***1/2

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12 year old me watching Wrestlemania 21 thought this was the best non-gimmick match I'd ever seen. I've never got around to rewatching it, and obviously my tastes change. But it was the the next chronological match for me, and I've been wanting to watch a WWE Main Event style match today, so here goes:

- The opening portions are good enough. A bit of a stretch that Michaels could turn the tables and outwrestle Kurt, but I'm here to suspend disbelief, I guess
- The outside stuff is ok, the Angle slam into the post looked cool at first, but on the replay, not so good.
- I think this has an edge on a lot of WWE main event matches because it's less finisher-spamming, more counters of finishers spamming. They got some creative ones, and they did so many, I felt they sort of earned a video game kick-out fest.
- Shawn saves a top rope fall and hits a pretty cool crossbody on the outside

- Crowd seem pretty split, actually
- I had some fun with the cinematic points - Kurt pulling the straps back up only to pull them down again was good, as was the shouting in superkick
- There was a lot of lying around in the match, but towards the end it does feel like they're milking the drama
- Way too many Angle slams and Ankle locks given by Kurt. I guess that was the way it was going to have to happen to put Shawn out.

- I have so many childhood memories of Kurt making my favourites tap to the ankle lock. I don't love Kurt, but getting the most drama out of that submission was certainly his best feature. This is the pinnacle of this, with it coming from Shawn trying to get up, and the escape attempts. No doubt it went on far too long though.

This match was just what I needed. I don't think it was a top-tier WWE match, but definitely the next tier down. I'm beginning to think star ratings are not working in the context of me reviewing 2005 matches, with a mixture of nostalgia and appreciation for certain elements lost in 2017. I think this is either the highest 4 1/4 match I've seen or the lowest 4 1/2. It doesn't really matter, I was gripped and had a blast, but I would fully appreciate where people could find this match frustrating, or just plain dislike it.

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Really enjoyed the story that they told in this match of both guys trying to outdo each other in each other's styles. Michaels was able to outwrestle Angle early on until Angle turned to a more brawling "WWE style" to try and get back the advantage.

 

Some really great spots in this match like the Angle Slam into the post, the struggle for the German, and even the crossbody to the table. Loved how quick King was to kayfabe why the table didn't break. Good stuff.

 

The finishing stretch was your typical WWE main event style drama. False finish justified by delayed pinfall and into one of the most brutal looking Ankle Locks ever.

 

There's no selling and some dragging parts but I thought it stayed engaging for the most part.

 

****

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The beginning stuff is awesome w/ HBK starting it off with a SLAP, which then angered Angle, so he did some aggressive grappling to show HBK that this ain't where you wanna play at. I also really enjoyed HBK's headlock control, but shortly after that gets done, the match loses me & doesn't get me again until the finishing stretch, with HBK delivering that great Superkick out of nowhere, as Angle was yelling at him. The Ankle Lock drama, for the most part, is really good too, but it definitely did go a bit too long in my eyes. So to sum it up; I think the beginning is great, I think the ending is really good, but the middle (which goes the longest of all the 3 parts) is very shallow & boring, which is what brings this match down a lot. **1/2

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This was so disappointing on the re-watch. Compared to the last time I watched it where I have it ***3/4, this wasn't good, at least not at that extent. I wasn't into the early wrestling in the beginning at all. Angle is boring on offence and HBK isn't technically sound enough to make it work unlike Lesnar or Benoit. The ankle spots felt like it went on way too long. I understand milking it, but it made the ankle lock feel weak. Angle not continuing on with his back work was equally annoying too, but he usually does that in any match - work on the back for most of it then suddenly go for the ankle. Not awful, but not good either. **1/4

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